The Texans agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Johnathan Joseph and free agent safety Danieal Manning on Friday. Those two met with the media that night at Reliant Stadium, and the following is a transcript of their interview.
CB Johnathan Joseph
S Danieal Manning
S Danieal Manning(Opening statement) "How's everybody doing? I'm Danieal Manning and I'm very excited to be here in my home state of Texas, back home in Houston. I'm around a lot of familiar faces and this has been very exciting, this whole process. Unfortunately, it was a long process with the lockout and all that, but I'm glad things are starting to roll in a way that we can have a good season. This looks like the Houston Texans are going to be fighting really hard and getting in the playoffs."
CB Johnathan Joseph(Opening statement) I'm Johnathan Joseph. I'm not a fellow Houston(onian) or a fellow Texan guy, but I'm from South Carolina. Like Danieal said, I'm just happy to be here and happy to be part of this situation that the Houston Texans have going on, and I think with the addition of both of us I think we're moving in the right direction and adding pieces to the puzzle to be a contender for years to come. I'm just happy to be a part of this process and thankful for the opportunity to be here."
Danieal Manning(on what he can bring to the team) "For myself, I feel like experience is number one. I played in several big games, including the Super Bowl, we played there. You guys around here know a lot about Peyton Manning. I have my experience with him in the Super Bowl and things like that. Number two would be my versatility; what I can bring as a safety and as far as covering guys, my range that I have and tackling ability. In special teams, being a returner. I feel like I can bring a spark to the team and give us great field position there. Like I said earlier, getting us into the playoffs."
Johnathan Joseph(on what he can bring to the team) "I think I bring a proven veteran player to this team. They have a lot of young talent back in the back end and on defense as well, and I think with the addition, you can never have enough talent. I think by the addition of us, proven veteran players, as (Manning) said, he had played into the Super Bowl and I've had a chance to play into the playoffs as well. Bringing that experience along for the rest of these guys, and just helping everyone else get to the next level, which is the ultimate goal, I think is a plus for this Houston Texans organization."
(on what persuaded him to come to the Texans) "Myself as a player, I always like to follow other teams around the league and see what they have going on in their situations as well. This was my chance at free agency and once I looked and explored around the league, I'd seen the Houston Texans had almost every piece to the puzzle, as far as offense and defense. They were just missing a couple of pieces in the back end, with the youth back there. To add a couple of veteran players, I think that was the first thing that lured me this way because if you put the pieces to the puzzle and they become the right puzzle, I think the sky is the limit. They could be contenders for years, and I think that's what we bring."
Danieal Manning(on the physicality of the NFC and what that translates for him) "In the 'Black and Blue Division', that's what we called it, it was tough, but here I think what I can bring is the winning attitude. These guys have proven that they're physical and stuff like that, and in the National Football League you have to be physical and play, especially here in Houston, those guys can play. You have names, those guys are big time players and just to be a part of that is big, and just bringing like (Joseph) said, just bringing the experience we have all around the league and the experience of just watching this team has been amazing. I'm just glad to be a part of this experience."
(on if he grew up a Texans or Cowboys fan) "A Cowboys fan. The Texans weren't out then when I was growing up. It wasn't in existence. It was the Houston Oilers by that time."
(on who his favorite Cowboys players were) "Growing up it was Emmitt Smith. I wanted to be a running back just like him. I played in a Pop Warner league with the same number. I played for a little team, the Kansas City Chiefs, a little Pop Warner team. I idolized Emmitt Smith."
Johnathan Joseph(on what excites him about playing in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense) "Just the players that they have on this side of the ball on this defense, from the defensive line to the linebackers. It's been guys that have been to several Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams so just being a part of that is big for me because I've been on a successful defense but a chance to be on a successful defense for years to come and part of a great defensive coordinator that we have in Wade Phillips, is a big opportunity for me, myself."
Danieal Manning(on what excites him about playing in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense) "Me and Wade talked and just his terminology for the 3-4 and him allowing guys to make plays and be playmakers out there and statistically he always has those guys either in the top-10 or top-five in rush defense so that always helps out on the back end and he got a great core with all those guys that already been here and I'm just really excited about being here."
(on how familiar he is with the scheme) "I haven't had any experience with that in the NFL but in college I played in some of the defenses just like that."
Johnathan Joseph(on the process of the last few days and what it was like) "Just being patient. It's a business first and nothing is personal, just as well as they signed me they could've signed anyone else but I was their pick and I was their guy. I can't control anything that's out of my responsibility. My responsibility was to just pick the best situation for Johnathan and Johnathan's family and by picking the Houston Texans that was the best situation for me. I think patience was the key not to jump the gun and think one way or the other because the media can lead things to be portrayed one way or the other and I think patience paid off in this decision to sign with the Houston Texans."
Danieal Manning(on how much he has seen the secondary and how he will help them) "I think (S Glover) Quin is a definitely a good player. I think they have a lot of good guys in the secondary. I just think that Jonathan and I spoke and what we bring to this secondary is experience and game time that we have and those guys, definitely with a little help from us, definitely we can all get the job done together. I keep reiterating what I said about being excited, I'm excited to be in here. This is a great opportunity that I have to pretty much showcase some talent also that I have."
Johnathan Joseph(on how much he has seen the secondary and how he will help them) "I want to say the same (Manning) that he said. You have Kareem (Jackson) who went in the first round as well and Glover Quin, who is a versatile player who can play safety and corner. You have Jason Allen, who is a former first-round pick as well so there's talent back there. That never was a question just having a few more veterans to help out and lead along the way is the thing that gets you over the hump in this League and hopefully the addition of us two will prove to be worthy."
Johnathan Joseph(on the impact he can bring to the team) "I think over the course of my career, I have been an impact player for my defense, coming from a defense that puts a lot of pressure on the cornerbacks to make plays and kind of carry the defense. We're in a smaller market so the name may not be known from a lot of people around the league, but from the people that are making the decisions in the front office, that got the guys they wanted to get and I'm just looking forward to making them good on their investment."
(on if there was an offer from his previous team to keep him) "It was a competitive offer but at the end of the day, you have to weigh all the options. You know, what your team has in play. You know the starting quarterback, an all-pro quarterback, Pro Bowlers, best receiver in the NFL, great tight end, leading rusher from last year. Look at the D-line. You've got guys on the D-line that are all-pro players, DeMeco Ryans, Bryan Cushing. Just a chance to be an addition to that defense says a lot for me as part of this team. It was a no-brainer for me."
Danieal Manning(on if there was an offer from his previous team to keep him) "Myself included, it was a no brainer for me. I really didn't get an offer that was of value that was good for me or my family. I knew from the jump when I hit free agency that I wanted to come home and be here in Texas, so my dream is coming true."
Johnathan Joseph(on the advice he would give to Kareem Jackson) "It's just working with him. When I came into the League, to the Cincinnati Bengals, we were the worst defense. We were ranked 32nd in pass defense in the League. The last two years, we were 15th, 12th and fourth overall, so I think it comes with time and experience. He was thrown into the fire as a young player and you learn with experience, so I'm definitely looking forward to him having a better year in his second year and moving forward in his career."
Danieal Manning(on the work he put in during the lockout) "Pretty much just running, lifting weights and working out. I never got back with those guys that were working out. I didn't really workout with a lot of teammates, so I pretty much had it on my own. I had some guys work out with me at the college and stuff like that, but I was just staying in shape and trying to figure out what team would fit me best."
Johnathan Joseph(on the work he put in during the lockout) "Me personally, I was back in South Carolina training with a few fellow guys in the NFL as well. The offseason was a little long and rigid because normally you know you have your off time that you can take a vacation or anything, but with the lockout going through, there weren't any breaks because you never knew when they would say the lockout was over. Training the whole offseason was pretty much my main priority."
(on if he researched every team interested in him or just the Texans) "I don't know the exact words for that, but I just like to follow the League. I can tell you guys' names on plenty of teams around the NFL. I'm not just one of the guys that plays football. I study the game and watch other players because you can never know enough, so just by knowing that it helps me along my game as well."